Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kick Off the Holiday Season - Part 4 of 4

So by now, you should be feeling pretty good about your party planning skills. You have decided on a date, time, and venue. You came up with a theme, made your budget and you're sticking to it! The guest list is set and the invitations are in the mail. You chose the style of dining and the service method you will use.

The next step is setting stage--

Dinnerware, flatware, glassware, linens, napkins rings, place cards, menu cards, flowers, candles, decorations, party favors, and music all work together to create a memorable event.

If you are holding a casual event, china may be used or you may use plastic/paper dinnerware. Obviously, you should use formal dinnerware, flatware, and glassware for a formal event. For informal occasions, placemats and runners may be used instead of a tablecloth. For formal and elegant occasions, crisp, starched, white damask linen is my favorite choice, with ivory being my second choice. Napkin rings are another way to bring a decorative touch to the table and may be used at breakfast, lunch, tea, or an informal dinner. Place cards help to bring the theme together on your tablescape, while making guests feel special. You might want to have a menu card on the table to coordinate with your place cards.

Flowers and candles add to the festive atmosphere of any event. Avoid heavily fragrant arrangements or candle scents at the dining table. All sorts of vessels may be used to contain your flowers or candles; i.e., teapots, vases, glass cylinders, buckets, compotes, etc. Just be sure that guests will be able to see each other during the meal. Music, whether it is lively or background tunes, is a very important element in creating a relaxed atmosphere. Try to match the music with the theme of your event. To complete the ambiance of your event, use any other party decorations that will accent your theme; i.e., balloons, streamers, beads, flags, etc.

Party favors are a nice way of thanking your guests for coming to your event. I always try to give party favors that coordinate with the theme of my event.

The final step in getting ready for your event is to prepare the venue or your home. Make sure that your home says "Welcome!" to your guests. Your front door area should be clean and well lit. The bathroom will get lots of use, so make sure it is clean and stocked with all the necessities: bath tissue, hand soap (I prefer pump bottles in a guest bath/powder room), hand drying napkins, a fragrant candle, and a wastebasket. Make sure your home is warm/cool enough for your guests and set aside an area for coats, handbags, or umbrellas.

Now you are ready to get the holiday season started!

14 comments:

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Wow, I just found your blog. I was sent over from Nancy ~ Southern Lady. I think I'll be back daily for more. . . :)

Blessings,

Sher

Bo said...

Hi...I'm back for another visit and to see what goodies you have for us... ;-) Bo

Sue said...

Well am I delighted that Nancy directed her northern blog friends your way. This Southern Belle wanna be is looking forward to many more of your charming posts.

Teresa Jane said...

Miss J, BFF here. Ok, I need to work...I have websites to design and now you've got me hooked on these blogs. Who came up with the word, blog? Since it is glob backwards I guess it came from globbly glook. hee hee.
Teresa Jane

Donna@designson47thstreet said...

I love what I see!! :) Your blog is right up my alley. I found it by way of Nancy and her through Southern Inspirations. I have put you under my favorites. Come see me. I have a new blog as well.

Shelia said...

Hi Miss Janice! I'm loving what I'm seeing here and am so impressed you are so organized. I'm going back now to scroll down your blog!
I'll be back!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

tardevil said...

Now you know I love some good decor, so I'll be sure to come back tomorrow! Have fun!

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Hello Miss Janice, its so nice to meet you . I will come back for another visit later.

fascinatingfinds said...

Thanks for stopping by today. Wow, could I learn from your blog, makes me want to celebrate something, I think I'll start tonight, Cheers! Cheryl

Melissa Miller said...

Very nice. I like the favor idea coordinating with the party theme. I can't wait to see the photos from tonights event.

Liz said...

Good Ideas, all! I can't wait to see the pics from tonight!

~Liz~

santamaker said...

Love everything, especially the decorating, tablescaping... the cooking and cleaning....NOT so much!

Roseny Crisp said...

Obrigada pelas dicas.
Abra├žo.

Thanks for the tips.
Hug.

Lady Katherine said...

I have enjoyed your Kick off the Holiday Season Parts 1-4. Your post have a feeling of welcome,thank you for all your Southern Etiquette advice.